I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to conduct a festive Q&A with the lovely Emma Hamilton, author of the fabulous Greedily Yours series. To celebrate the release of the latest installment, Christmas Cravings, Emma spills the beans on everything festive…
Hello Emma and a big, Christmassy welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! Thank you so much for taking part in this festive Q&A, would you like to start by introducing yourself?
Hello Holly and a big Christmassy thank you back at you for hosting a festive Q & A with me. So, in answer to your request for an introduction: Mmy name is Emma Hamilton and I LOVE Christmas. That’s why I was thrilled to be able to write a festive addition to the Greedily Yours series and I love the title too, “Christmas Cravings,” because at this time of year in particular, I do crave Christmas. I’m a writer and journalist and Greedily Yours is my first published fiction series but I hope to write lots more as I loved retiring to a world and following my characters as they evolved and took me on a journey with them.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Christmas episode of your fabulous Greedily Yours series, Christmas Cravings?
The Christmas episode starts off in a German Christmas market. Mia was meant to be there with Tom and the surroundings are very romantic. In a way, Mia is in food and Christmas heaven, with all those sights and sounds and smells. But, unfortunately Tom is not there with her, and Mia has flown to Germany with her best friend Lizzie. Whilst they enjoy the beauty and glittering lights of the German Christmas market and try out lots of scrumptious foodie delights, they try and work out what went wrong between Mia and Tom. To do that, the book jumps back in time over the last year, bringing us up to date with what Mia (and Tom) have been doing since we last met with Mia at the end of episode eight of the series.
How did you go about getting yourself in the mood to write a Christmas story?
It was actually easy and difficult at the same time. Easy because I love Christmas and so I just looked back at my photos of the Christmas markets over the past years and thought lots about all that I love about Christmas. Difficult because I was writing this episode over the summer and so most of the time I was sitting in jeans shorts tapping away and licking ice creams or drinking mint and lime juice whilst trying to evoke snowy vistas and heavy, spiced food. But during my extensive procrastination, during the writing process, I just browsed lots of Christmassy websites and foods and evoked it that way.
The Greedily Yours series has done so well and had some fantastic reviews. How does it feel when you hear that a reader has enjoyed your stories so much?
It makes me very happy indeed. It’s lovely to hear that people fell in love with the characters just as I did and found them fun, entertaining, sympathetic and want to read more. It’s really heart warming, because as a writer, you put a lot of effort and a lot of yourself in to writing and creating and so obviously it is great to hear that people recognise that and are positive about it.
Ok, on to Christmas! I would like to know your favourite….
Ooooh great questions. I could debate these ones all day, as there are so many I love, but I’ll try and narrow them down.
· Christmas Song
· Fairytale of New York – The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl
· Christmas Film
· The Holiday – Nancy Meyers or The Box of Delights, a BBC series when I was a child.
· Christmas food
· Turkey and all the trimmings (although, my god, pretty much everything you can eat over the Christmas period, I love!!)
· Christmas Carol
· We Three Kings (but I also love The Holly and the Ivy, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night, just about anything Christmassy and with pagan overtones)
· Christmas book
· The Box of Delights – John Masefield. Twas the Night Before Christmas (the poem which gets me in the mood and I’m always buying for children I know to give me an excuse to read it to them as I love it myself) and anything Christmassy and romantic say by Trisha Ashley. Anything that gives me a warm glow inside.
How will you be spending Christmas this year?
This year for the first time ever I won’t be with my parents, which I’m a bit sad about. But I will have a second Christmas with all my family which I’m looking forward to. But this year I’ll be with my parents-in-law in Germany who are apparently planning on cooking goose so that will be another first which I’m very much looking forward to. To bring in the British element so that I feel at home, I will be making a Christmas cake, the boozy-woozy one you can find in the back of Christmas Cravings, mince pies and also lots of sausage rolls which last year went down very well at my Christmas party. Even though the cast list will be a little bit different, I intend to fill it with food and love as I think that’s the best way to spend it wherever you are and whoever you are with.
When do you usually start your Christmas shopping?
Hahahaha, I am AWFUL at being organised. I used to do most of my Christmas shopping on the 24th in the afternoon or in my lunchbreak at work. A quick spin around Covent Garden and I was done. But you can’t do that in Germany, so I’ve had to do a bit more forward planning, but I don’t like starting until December because I love buying people presents and so I want the anticipation to last longer and if it was all done in say September or October, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself in the build up.
What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s festive season?
Everything!!! The food, the wine, the presents and getting to spend time with the people I love. The Christmas markets are starting in Germany on the 22nd November so I can’t wait to go with my best friend here and indulge our shared love of Christmas and have a glühwein (mulled wine) to celebrate the start of advent and the month of indulgence 😉
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what 2016 has in store for you and your writing?
I don’t yet know but I hope it has lots more lovely writing in store for me. I’m currently working on ideas and I really hope the publishers will be interested in taking some more books from me as I love writing but we’ll see. I wish I could look into a crystal ball but unfortunately that’s only possible for my characters, not for me. I will be doing lots of yoga though because I’ve signed up to a teacher training course next year so I’m currently trying to master asanas and spending a lot of time massaging my wrists and falling on my face and wishing I was more bendy. I hope that I will be back talking to you about a new book or series at the end of 2016, that’s what I’m keeping my fingers crossed for anyway.
A huge, Christmassy-thank you to Emma and Hayley at ed pr.
Christmas Cravings by Emma Hamilton is published on 20th November, price £0.99 in eBook. Find Emma and all of her incredible recipes on Instagram: EmmaHamiltonAuthor